Timing Matters and Immunity to Viralness

Timing Matters and Immunity to Viralness

There are three stages to Red Rover setup:

1) School admin sets up groups at school.
2) Student leaders set up their individual groups (summary and tags)
3) Students set themselves up and join groups

Step three is basically the “online orientation” part.

We’ve been told by a few schools that they plan on including step three as part of their required online orientation process. This solves it pretty quickly.

For the rest, it will be a marketing push. Putting the links where they will be seen, e-mailing it out, getting to the thought leaders on campus and getting them to get their friends . . .

It’s the need and desire for “spreading among friends” where the timing of our rollout is frustrating. The timing has made viral spread far more difficult.

Facebook has built up an immunity to viral apps. It’s not a complete immunity, but compared to the early days – say the first two weeks where everything was a plague – the body politic of Facebook is far more resistant.

There are three types of spreading on Facebook, personal invite (direct message), assisted invite (app sends it for you) and passive (newsfeed or see it on someone’s page). None of these three work as well as they did. Because a) Facebook has changed the interface to limit assisted invites because b) folks are feeling like this:

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And those feelings mean that no method of spreading an application from person to person is as easy as it once was.

As a wannabe virus this is annoying. If we had just been earlier, we could have slipped by easily.

With a little bit more vision, and a little less self-ishness, this immunity is a good thing and perfectly normal.

I’m an active Facebook user. I’m sick of invites to silly things. I’m glad Facebook is putting limits – I wish my friends were more discerning with their invites.

Keep out the bad, and let in the good.

Most Facebook applications don’t do much. With some notable exceptions, they are trinkets and games. I’m not into that right now.

Neither are the folks above.

Our challenge is to build (and describe) a good application that can navigate the strengthening immune system.

It’s a worthy challenge.

I would have preferred an easy one.

Swift Kick
sk@swiftkickhq.com

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